It’s 2018, which means there are numerous new laws that have come in to effect after receiving Gov. Jerry Brown’s blessing. Employers may no longer make inquiries that, directly or indirectly, identify an individual on the basis of sex, gender, gender identity, or gender expression in California? Also, employers may not inquire about or require documentation or proof of an individual’s sex, gender, gender identity or gender expression as a condition of employment.
California was the first state to officially recognize a third gender option. Effective September 1, 2018, California residents will be able to change the sex their birth certificates to either Male, Female or Nonbinary. Nonbinary (a.k.a. Gender X) is a term used to describe an individual who does not identify as either sex. Californian’s will also be able to choose the nonbinary option on their driver’s license or state issued ID card beginning January 1, 2019.
What should your HR department do differently?
• You should review all forms (including Employment Application) that request employees or applicants sex or gender. Psst.. EBHR has the most up to date, attorney approved, 2018 Employment Application!
• Do not ask questions designed to detect a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity.
• If you have affirmative action reporting or other recordkeeping requirements, you may request an applicant to self-identify on a voluntary basis.
• Make sure employees medical records are not in their personnel files, but in a separate confidential file stored in a locked/secure area. Managers and supervisors should not have access to this highly personal information. Contact us if you would like us to conduct an HR audit on personnel files.
• Avoid initiating the conversation about working conditions and gender or sex. ONLY IF the employee initiates the communication, may the employer and employee discuss the working conditions.
• Honor an employee’s chosen name, gender identification or use of pronouns, including gender neutral pronouns. Failing to do so could contribute to an unlawful hostile work environment based on sed. Your company can be held liable under FEHA if you fail to abide by an employee’s stated preference to be identified by a particular gender, name or pronoun.
• Train managers and employees on diversity and inclusion to avoid risky/illegal communication at your organization.
• Allow employees to use the facilities (including restrooms) that correspond with their gender identity or expression.
Change is never easy, so let EveryBusiness HR Essentials help implement those listed above! We have the proper and current documentation, can conduct thorough HR audits, and can deliver custom Anti-Harassment, Diversity and Inclusion Training tailored to your organization. We can also be your lifeline as we offer On-Demand HR for employee relations issues.